This week, the House passed two major bipartisan bills, the first one to award Congressional Gold Medals to the United States Capitol Police officers on the frontline during the riot, and the second bill to declare Juneteenth a federal holiday.
The first bill meant to reward police officers for their bravery passed on Tuesday with a 406-21 vote. And the second bill, the “Juneteenth National Independence Day Act,” passed just a day after with a 415-14 vote.
The opposing votes to both bills were all Republican.
In total, seven GOP representatives who opposed recognizing June 19 as a federal holiday also opposed rewarding the January 6 officers for their efforts protecting the Capitol during the deadly January 6 attack.
Andy Biggs (Arizona) Paul Gosar (Arizona) Andrew Clyde (Georgia) Thomas Massie (Kentucky) Matt Rosendale (Montana) Ralph Norman (South Carolina) and Chip Roy (Texas) voted against both bills.
Juneteenth, which celebrates the end of slavery in America, was first recognized as a holiday by Texas, in 1980. But despite being a Texan legislator, Chip Roy voted against it arguing the bill’s proposed name “needlessly divides our nation on a matter that should instead bring us together by creating a separate Independence Day based on the color of one’s skin.”
Congressman Roy was also the only Texan Representative to vote against both bills.
On awarding congressional gold medals to the January 6 officers, opposer Andy Biggs said that while he supports the police, the bill itself was “a manipulation” by the Democrats.
Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene told reporters that she voted against the Congressional Gold Medal to US Capitol Police Officers and MPD because she does not believe the legislation should refer to January 6 as an insurrection, “I wouldn’t call it an insurrection,” she said.
However, Republican opposition was an evident minority and even GOP members spoke publicly against their colleagues who did not support the bills.
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming who according to CNN was ousted from GOP leadership last month after she repeatedly rejected Trump’s election lies, specifically criticized Rep. Paul Gosar, because in addition to voting no on the legislation, he had referred to the shooting of Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt as an execution.
Another outspoken critic of Donald Trump, Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, publicly criticized his 21 colleagues who voted against the legislation.
“How you can vote no to this is beyond me,” Kinzinger tweeted after the vote. “Then again, denying an insurrection is as well. To the brave Capitol (and DC metro PD) thank you. To the 21: they will continue to defend your right to vote no anyway.”